UCSB Takes Game One, Downs CSUN 4-2

April 28, 2006

Box Score

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UCSB (18-20, 4-6) used four runs on seven hits and 8.1 innings out of starter Andy Graham to defeat Cal State Northridge (18-21, 2-7) by a score of 4-2 on Friday at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.

Junior Robbie Blauer and sophomore Alden Carrithers paced the Gauchos offensively. Blauer batted two-for-three with a run scored and an RBI on the day. Carrithers finished two-for-four with two runs scored and an RBI to push his season batting average to a team-leading .383.

Graham dealt eight and a third innings of quality ball, surrendering two runs and two walks while striking out six and scattering eight hits. Junior Justin Segal came on with one out in the ninth to shut the door on the Matadors and earn his fourth save of the year.

Matador leadoff hitter Jonathan Sakurai led CSUN offensively, batting three-for-five with a run scored. Northridge starter Craig Baker lasted only three innings, surrendering two runs on three hits while striking out four. The Matadors used three innings of relief from Jimmy Brettl, one from Jimmy Jolicoeur and one from Matt Gaylord.

Neither team got on the board until the third inning when Northridge tallied one run in the top of the frame. After Paul Wilson reached on an error to start the inning, Johnny Coit put down the sacrifice bunt to move Wilson to second. On the ensuing play, Sakurai dribbled a ground ball toward Chris Valaika at shortstop. A heads-up Valaika fielded the ball with no chance of throwing out Sakurai at first, and instead arm faked to first and back picked Wilson at third after he turned the bag too far. The outstanding defensive effort saved a few runs from scoring in the inning. Raymond Ravago singled on the next play to put runners at the corners. After a hit batsman loaded the bases, Northridge got on the board on a Graham wild pitch that plated Sakurai from third.

The Gauchos would not trail for long, scoring two runs in the bottom of the third to gain a lead that they would not relinquish. After a quick out, freshman Shane Carlson got things rolling with a single to right centerfield. On the ensuing play, Chris McMurray struck out swinging at a pitch that got away from Steve Lemmon behind the dish, but Carlson moved to second base on the passed ball. Carrithers took advantage of the RBI opportunity with a single into right field to plate Carlson and even the score at one. Carrithers read the throw from right field well and moved up to second on the play. Freshman Brian Gump followed suit with a single of his own to drive in Carrithers and give UCSB the 2-1 lead.

UCSB was back at it again in the sixth, adding one more run and extending its lead to 3-1. After a walk and a bunt single by Blauer put runners at first and second, Valaika was picked off at second after a missed bunt attempt. Senior Matt Emerick singled on the ensuing play, putting runners once again at first and second. After a groundout moved the runners up ninety feet, head coach Bob Brontsema pinch hit for Brian Lee with Mario Lewis. Lewis drew a walk to load the bases for Carlson. With nowhere to put Carlson, Brettl promptly walked the third baseman to plate the third Gaucho run of the game.

The Gauchos picked up their fourth and final run in the bottom of the seventh. Carrithers led things off with a single and Gump moved him to second with a sacrifice bunt. Two batters later, Blauer came up with a clutch base hit to right field to plate Carrithers and give UCSB the 4-1 lead.

CSUN would answer back with one run in the eighth to run the score to its eventual final of 4-2. The big swing came off the bat of Lemmon, who with one out drove a pitch over the left field wall for his fourth home run of the season.

UCSB and CSUN will continue this three-game series tomorrow at 1 p.m. at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. Junior left-hander Jeff Braun is slated to be on the mound for the Gauchos.